Pump up your tires and grab your sleds- outdoor enthusiasts are sure to love what’s coming soon to Portage la Prairie!

The Portage Junk Yard Dogs is a club of over 300 members who work together to create, maintain, and promote outdoor activity in and around the city of Portage la Prairie. Currently, their focus is an activity park that’s to be constructed at the old dump hill. This park will add to the already-established network of JYD cycling, hiking, and skiing trails in the region. The club also plans to refurbish the much-loved toboggan run, as well as create wheelchair-accessible nature trails.

Multiple club members are eager to point out the importance of increased accessibility and visibility, acknowledging the importance of outdoor activity in the maintenance of good physical and mental health. It is their hope that this project will encourage people of all ages and abilities to spend more time out in the sun, learn some new skills, and meet people with shared hobbies. Additionally, unlike many other parks and trails, this activity park will not require membership to access, increasing both public appeal and accessibility for all.

As for visibility, the area’s trails are something of a well-kept secret. Ideally, the widespread transformation of the area will draw in visitors and enthusiasts from across the country, eventually establishing this park as a premier outdoor activity attraction.

Construction, which had been on hold due to red tape, is now set to begin in May 2024, with a completion goal of September 2024. But before any of this can happen, more funds need to be raised.

The Portage Junk Yard Dogs are tasked with raising all funds for this project, and with a budget of $620,000 for phase 1, it is quite the task. They plan to raise funds from the government, institutional grants, and donations from individuals and businesses. A good portion of the required amount has already been raised, but there’s still a long way to go.

Kevin and Iris Yuill of Portage la Prairie are also passionate about this project and have graciously set up a matching funds program where they will match individual donations up to a total of $100,000.

Donations can be made anytime at www.portagejyd.com. Tax receipts will be issued.